Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout

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very good

366 Reviews
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Reviews: 366
Hads: 950
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 26.51%
Wants: 71
Gots: 141 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Shovelbum on 02-12-2006

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 366 | Hads: 950
Photo of thelagerheads
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is where other beers come to be decimated and pronounced simpleton swills of bulging Amerigo. In fact this is the war of the worlds brew that comes out of the ground and goes GEEE GLEEENNNNK and then starts zapping people and turns them to quivering dust piles. I saw a man carrying a case of Bud Light walking in 95 degree heat as I was driving towards the Jolly Pumpkin headquarters today and I cursed his existence and made inside my brain those exact same GLLLEEEKEKKEKE sounds and he was gone from the face of the planet beer. I pulled in and mooched three samples with this being the last and bought three bottles with this being the first tasted. What you have here is a copper bodice and the queen is being fed chinked off pieces of the Sphinx and grape wine and the blood of three virgins. Her hair is flaming and her mouth is cursed with the comprachico's everpresent and everlasting grin-smirk-smile. You have a porter with God's little magic wand in it making a mushroom cloud of exploding suds that implodes from the center down in a burst of purple froth. You have to harness this head because it whips around and screams and threatens to put your life in the dustbowl if you don't dive right in and be overcome by excellence.

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Photo of Bwehrley39
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at winter fest 2015 in Indianapolis and was our favorite beer out of 102 breweries. Awesome sour flavor with a nice clean crisp finish. My new favorite beer!

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Photo of Bearski-Beerski
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch: 981
Bottled: 02/07/12
Consumed: 08/17/12
Appearance: Pitch black with plenty of golden brown lace.
Smell: Instant vinegary sour presence with coffee and chocolate notes; (Complexly challenging, but lovely).
Taste: Skips tart and goes straight to sour apple or so. Notes of coffee bitterness and dark chocolate bitterness do shine through as well. Roasted flavor lingering a little bit too, (All awesome).
Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied feel with a mild tickle sensation.
Overall: I found it hard to rate such an ingenious brew negatively.
So far I haven't had a Jolly Pumpkin that's done anything except make my taste buds sing. Sour is sour. So, if that doesn't work for you, don't be ashamed. It might simply be an acquired taste.
Stay parched my friends!

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Photo of xav33
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura
750 ml bottle
Moderate pour in a goblet and tulip glass
Released January '07, plunged into 05/07

Poured black with a large mostly lasting rocky and fluffy light brown head and good lacing.

Smelt of strong coffee, dark chocolate, clean fresh oak, sour grapes and cherries, bandaids, and lighter notes of different variations of the above. You could say licorice, plums, tar, or even frigging rainbows, because as dark as this is, it even smells like rainbows. A very evil rainbow.

Taste was upfront strong to harsh sour dark fruit, like concord grape skins or cherries or and moderate roast and burnt malt followed by strong bitter and sourness, touches of oak, and coffee, and bliss, on a long finish.

Palate was medium bodied, slightly oily on a slightly dry finish, lively carbonated, and lightly puckering.

Overall, it's a refreshing summer stout! Sour and feels light bodied. A huge palate punch that makes you turn the other cheek and beg for more. Magical. Dark Magic. Mommy!

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Photo of alysmith4
4.83/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

What a pleasant surprise this beer was! Had it on-tap at a butcher shop in Union Market. Was there to pick up some bacon, ended up staying because of the good tap line-up. Picked it on a whim, and have been thinking about it ever since trying.

Was sour and full and toasty and light and refreshing all at the same time. It's the best of both worlds: a sweet desserty stout and a crisp and fresh sour all at the same time. Found a bottle at Whole Foods recently, and am looking forward to having again!

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Photo of goochpunch
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out an opaque jet black with a cafe au lait head that stays as thick as a finger is wide. Nose is chocolate, espresso, toffee, vanilla, acidic funk, and with some unspecific berry tones. Taste begins with roasted characteristics while the funk creeps in, bringing in sour cherry and raspberry flavors and tartness, along with cider notes. The chocolatey flavors lay beneath the wildness until the drying and astringently tannic finish and the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light and prickly. Overall, this is a brilliant beer. Develops so much from beginning to end, as it warms up.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a bottle from Eulogy Tavern in Old City, Philadelphia

The pour on this brew was fantastic. It was super thick, and dark as oil. It had a nice two inch, mocha colored head. It had amazing retention. Some great lacing persued the brew as it was consumed.

The aroma on this brew follows the apparence well. It had a great funkiness. Some great notes were present, sour cherries, peaches, and some roasted chocolates. The notes that hit you last is a herb like hop arouma that finishes everything up very well. Its got amazing notes just popping from this glass.

The flavor on this brew is crazy. When it hits your mouth it's sour but as you begin to drink it, a fantastic smokey stout flavor roars in with a fine Belgian influence. It takes all the flavors and meshes them so well. The sour start makes the brew, giving you that pucker you expect with a sour, but in rushes that dark fruits and chocolate that just sweeten everything up perfectly. I never thought I could have had a sour stout, but wow.

This is pretty close to a full body brew. The carbonation is dead on and cuts the acids and the sweetness, rounding out a perfect brew.

Before searching this brew I saw someone write "who would have thought a sour stout could be so awesome??" Well they was huge success in my eyes, and I will be sure to have it again, as well as now begin to search out more Jolly Pumpkin Brews. It was easy to drink.

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Photo of Beeroness
4.74/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Jolly Pumpkin brews a truly interesting tasting stout. The sour notes add complexity and balance to the richness of the chocolate and coffee flavors. This is quickly becoming my favorite stout.

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Photo of smellody
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man oh man, how I love Jolly Pumpkin and this beer is no exception. Leave it to JP to pull off a barrel aged flavored stout that has a sour tinge to it...for me, heaven.

I shared this with three fellow BAs at Oldsmar Tap House (Oldsmar, FL,) from a 750ml bottle into small snifter taster glasses.

Appearance - Dark as night, with a lacey caramel head that lasted the entire session. Seemed think on the pour as well, like motor oil.

Smell - Once it warmed up, we were able to fully enjoy this beers complex aroma. It has the typical JP funkiness with hints of fruit (maybe cherry) and roasty chocolate. I sniffed it so much, at one point I almost inhaled it, it smelled so delish.

Taste - Not sure how they did this but for me it started sour and ended with a chocolate roast. I love the almost bret funkiness aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel - Low level of carbonation, smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability - just incredible. I didn't want the bottle to end, and with the ABV so subtle, I would have had a second bottle if I wasn't driving as I didn't know I was drinking such a robust stout. Amazing as always JP - keep up the good work.

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Photo of litotes
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Brickstore in Atlanta.

A: The bar was dimly-lit, but the beer still showed a dark ruby next to my friends' Breakfast Stouts. Head was a creamy coffee color. Excellent retention, although I moved through the beer pretty quickly.

S: All of the roasted malt you would expect in an imperial, but already the coffee and chocolate notes are braced against bright, musky cherries.

T: Excellent. The assertive sour notes are more intriguing set against the backdrop of a rich, mountainous stout, and, to JP's credit, neither range of flavors dominates the palate. By far the best-tasting sour stout I have ever tried.

M: The body was substantially diminished from what the nose--or a regular experience with Imperial stouts--might suggest. Not watery, but thinner than I had hoped.

O: With such an expressive nose and taste, and basically perfect balance of two relatively indelicate flavor profiles, this is my favorite of Jolly Pumpkin's and my favorite example of the style.

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Photo of mrbeermug
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark brew with just a hint of amber and really nice small and soft looking bubbles more typical of many belgian-style brews and very appealing to the eye. Not thick or syrupy.

S - Interesting mixture of dark malts and bright tangy and fruity sourness come through on the nose. Very distinct from other stouts and not as heavy.

T - Absolutely distinct and memorable flavor. Incredibly well balanced with some light flavors of roasted chocolate malt combined with a rich, but subtle sour and savory component, with even a hint of the creaminess and funk of a good blue cheese.

M - Carbonation is evenly but softly present throughout, the beer is not heavy but balanced between a bright upfront presence and a soft creamy swallow. The sourness lingers delicately on the palatte afterwards.

Overall - Brewing a sour stout like this is gutsy and its execution is outstanding. I remember this beer's flavor amidst a litany of great stouts and look forward to its release every late winter/early spring from Jolly Pumpkin. Great on tap, too. This, to me, is one of Ron Jeffries' best efforts.

I think a number of the folks rating this beer lower seem newer to or surprised by the style of sour beers and Jolly Pumpkin in general and since sours take some getting used to, not everyone is prepared. Having lived in Ann Arbor and tasted some 20 different beers from JP, including some aged up to 7 yrs, I come back to this one whenever it's released as among my favorites.

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Photo of macher0
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Draft to a snifter.

A: Very dark brown. Slight head that quickly retreats to a faint amber rim. No lacing. An amber layer when the glass is swirled. Highly viscous.

S: Not fragrant at first, then as the beer opens and head space becomes available in the snifter, the aromas become more apparent. A lot of sour yeast a little oak.

T: This is where this beer takes off. Multiple layers that work very well together. Oak. A little sour. A little bitter. Espresso. The dark roasted malts of a traditional stout are apparent. Boozy.

M: A full bodied beer. Low carbonation . Fairly smooth considering the bitterness. A minor lingering taste from the bitterness.

O: I wanted to try this for a while and I really dig JP. I was lucky and caught this gentle beast on tap at Winos in Bowling Green, KY. A very interesting beer with a lot going on. And it works. Defiantly a sour, defiantly a stout. More stout than sour. Nice oak balance. The booze comes through big time.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This sour beast is an enigma. The dark color and distinct tan head indicate that you are about to imbibe a stout. One whiff of the aroma you something else. The sourness is present in the aroma but it nicely complements the chocolate notes. The flavor confuses your tastebuds with sourness and hearty stout mixed into one. Confused or not, the combination is delightful.

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Photo of sholland119
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love stouts and I have come to enjoy most sour beers. If you feel the same way, you will almost certainly love this beer. If you are not into sours, and I was not for quite a long time, you may not enjoy this one.

Pours an opaque black with a thin tan head. Nice.

Smell is dominated by sour funk and roasted malts in a really awesome combination.

Taste is exceptional. A rich variety of flavors throughout; the taste keeps changing as you drink and it warms a bit. Roasted coffee from the malts and a puckering sourness start things off, then a hint of dark chocolate comes through, then a strong blast of citrus. and a bit of raisin and cherry at the end.

Mouthfeel is rich but a bit thin with very nice carbonation.

Very drinkable. Moderate ABV make it possible to drink more than one. The sour slows you down, as does the complex flavor.

Eight months ago, I tried one of these and could not stand it. My opinion has changed completely.


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Photo of takemetothelion
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the single beer that got me started in artisan brew. Got a glass of it at the famous Lion's Pride in Brunswick, Maine where I currently live. My first sip of this sour ale was like getting hit by a bus of exotic flavor. I had never dreamed of such a full throttle experience from "just" a beer. This instance completely changed my views of beer. Sure I had special craft and micro brews but this was an introduction into something so much more. A passion had been ignited. So all of that being said, this is a very important beer to me and I finally decided to properly review it. Picked up a bottle for $15 at Bootleggers. Allons-y!

A- I am full aware of the criticism this drink has received as an allegedly calling itself incorrectly an Imperial Stout, when in reality it belongs to a much different class. Although the pitch black with a streak of dark brown suggests a stout I do agree with the misnaming. Mild carbonation with a finger of head leaves barely any lacing.

S-Major tart, sour fruity vinegar, almost grapefruit or sour apple...hard to tell

T-Oh so sour, but such sweet bliss, as a full on assault on your taste buds begins. A blitz of funky lemon, cherry, vinegar possibly grapefruit and apple. Not much yeast detected and the sour overwhelms everything including the alcohol.

MF- Heavier carbonation then it looks, very mysterious and full feel complete with intense puckerage.

Overall, one of those you kinda have to taste to believe. Very intense, quite potent, and a true adventure. I thank god for this beer because it showed me the way of respecting beer.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this beer was awesome. I didn't know what to think when I was told this was a sour stout. Leave it to Jolly Pumpkin to pull it off. This was way better than I expected.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - This brew poured like thick motor oil. It produced a solid 2 finger latte foam texture head. A swirl of the glass brought the head back immediately - excellent retention. It is nearly opaque black. The head leaves behind some great lacing. This is a nice start.

Smell - The scent on this beer is amazing. Of course it has that typical Jolly Pumpkin funkiness. I get notes of sour cherry, peach, and roasty chocolate. It has a distant herbal hop aroma that really brings up the rear - the scent is crazy.

Taste - What an awesome feat of brewing madness. This brews opens with a sour note and ends roasty - I think that if it had been reversed, this beer would have failed. The sour is tied to sweet chocolate which then evolves to roastiness when is then tied to hoppy bitterness. What an awesome roller-coaster ride. The acidic nature of the sour flavor cuts through the sweetness. The sourness increases as it warms. The ABV is completely hidden in this one.

Mouthfeel - This brew has medium/full body. It has a slight acidic feel as it washes over the tongue. Good level of carbonation to cut through the acidity and the sweetness.

Drinkability - This beer is awesome. Who would have thought a sour stout would be this awesome? This brew was conceptually and technically executed perfectly. The ABV is hidden, the smell and taste are awesome, what more could you want?

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Photo of Mikus
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Birthday beer. Blew my mind. Deep black with a tint of brown in the light. Slim ring of tan bubbles. Dark cherries and lactic goodness on the nose. Acetic vinegar notes meld with deep roasty malts. Dark, balanced, refined, and delicious. End of palate has a nice roasty coffee note popping up out of the background sour noise. Bit of a dry finish. Perfect. Exceedingly outstanding brew. Can't wait to try the next JP take on a beer style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a big, brown, overflowing head. In the aroma, sour white grapes, roasty coffee, touch of caramel, chocolate, and roasty malts. In the taste, tart white grape, roasty malts and a sweet caramel in the end. A sour/ smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry, sour fruit in the aftertaste. A very good stout, with sour and wild yeast. Loved It!!

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Photo of BigAl723
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: It's not nicknamed the Dark Dawn Stout for nothing. It's about as dark as before the dawn with a nice dark brown head.

S: Smokey sourness. You can definitely tell it's a stout but on the other hand you can definitely tell it's brewed by Jolly Pumpkin. What a great/funky combination!

T: When it hits your mouth it's real sour but as you drink it, a nice smokey stout flavor roars in with a fine Belgian influence. It's a little bitter but the roasted malt evens it out.

M: Highly carbonated. Not terrible though.

D: Very drinkable. I could drink this stuff all night.

Overall, I love this offering from Jolly Pumpkin. It's very experimental but they pull it off quite nicely. On my list it's second to only the Noel!

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Photo of gabrielsyme
4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Taste (and smell) are what you would expect from a high-quality stout: roasty, chocolate (specifically dark chocolate bitterness), coffee. The aftertaste on this though is the characteristic JP flavor the slightly tart yeast taste. It makes for a wonderful combination.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark as night with an great tan foamy head. Pours a GREAT head too. Very nice lacing/"tiering"

S - Funk for sure. Very chocolate and sour too. Smells like vanilla wafers. Oaky and rich.

T - Yep, there's funk. Deep, dark, true, and rich... Great oak flavor too! A very typical JP sour.

M - Great, beautifully rich and elegant feel. Perfect carbonation to boot. Coats and disperses flavor excellent. Smooth.

D - WOW. One of the best brews I've had in sometime, extremely rich and enjoyable. Hard to put down and let open up...

A definite MUST try. Great recommendation by CT W&S. Thank you!

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Photo of lokiikol
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Color: opaque, deep brown/black.

Head: thick, medium brown, heavy lacing and slow dissipation.

Aroma: briny and roasted flavors, with some fruit and bitter undertones.

Mouthfeel: medium body with some carbonation, fairly creamy but light.

Taste: intense sour flavor up front, giving way to strong roasted flavors and hints of red fruit. Although the wild-yeast (sour) flavor permeates the flavor throughout, and finish is definitely more of a stout quality, with coffee and dark notes outlasting the pucker for a long finish.

Overall: I would not have thought a Belgian-imperial-sour stout could have been pulled off at all, let alone as well as the Magrugada Obscura. Jolly Pumpkin has a created a very unique and distinctive brew here, well worth having once and many times afterwards (if you can find it).

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Photo of Mxzorin
4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The label art is what first caught my eye when I saw this slightly dusty bottle tucked away on the top shelf of my local store. Since the majority of the customers around me were carrying cases of Corona or anything that says BUD on it, I understand why this was overlooked.
Honestly, I'm pretty new to learning about craft beers, micro brews, etc., so what I have to say about this comes with limited knowledge.
I tend to enjoy stouts so of course this intrigued me based on presentation. Now, to me it only makes sense that if you're going to try a new beer, that maybe you should investigate what type it is before purchasing. Especially at a cost of $10-$15 a bottle!
The majority of negative reviews were unhappy because they were surprised that this beer starts off sour, then finishes as a stout. From what I understand Jolly Pumpkin's has a reputation for often doing sours. Also there are PLENTY of sites I found that clearly state that this is a "sour stout," and it's quite different that what you may expect.
My point is that most of these dummies, "beer snobs," etc. who gave this brew a poor grade aren't saying it taste good or bad, but more stating that they didn't like it because they didn't get what they were expecting!
This beer is not for most, in fact probably only a select crowd with specific tastes. But giving it a failing score because you didn't bother to research a very specific artisan beer doesn't make it bad, it just means that you're lazy.
I personally thought it was quite good. Very dark, thick head. Pours near black! Starts out very sour ,but not undrinkable. Finishes like a strong stout. Coffee, chocolate, bitter, all the good stuff! Quite thick, and the taste lingers for a while. To me it is very much a sipping beer.
If nothing else, this is worth a try once because it's so unique. Everything from the bottle art, to taste and appearance were different than anything I've ever tried.
So be cool and check out something different, with an open mind!

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Photo of goethean
4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

There is no reason to believe that coffee notes and funky sourness would go well together. However, Jolly Pumpkin pulls it off again. I am a big beer lover, and those who do not love big, bold, strong, funky, weird beers should probably stay away.

The sourness combines beautifully with the mellow coffee, leather, and tobacco notes, not unlike a very big, very dark cabernet. It has some wininess, too, and could really improve with age.

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Photo of Beanmeister
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark! I would say this is a black beer. a nice thick brown head that didn't last long
S-Very strong smell sweet and bitter at the same time.
T- Tart sweet bitter all add to the complexity of this beer. defiantly a stout. has a lasting taste
M-great for sipping
O- i Enjoyed this beer and i plan to drink this beer again. One beer should last you a good while. Take your time with this beer... Enjoy it.

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
86 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.